Car Shipping for Seniors

When it comes to owning a vehicle, there are times when you may need to get it out of state, but don’t necessarily want to drive it there. This is the case for seniors who fall into the “snowbird” category of those who live in the north during the summer and live in the south during the winter. Having a car shipped enables the owner to fly to their location quicker and avoid weather hassles.

It also minimizes wear and tear as well as mileage on the vehicle. If traveling south is something you do every year, car shipping can make a real difference in the condition of your vehicle.

Seniors may also need to get a car shipped if they are moving to another state and don’t want to drive far. Perhaps a family member has purchased a car in another state and needs to get it you but doesn’t have the time to drive it there. Car shipping services can also come in handy at this time as well.

Car Shipping Tips

Before you book a company to ship your car, here are some things you should be aware of first:


This is a big one. While you’re obviously going to ask how much it’s going to cost to ship your vehicle, you also want to ask what that cost includes. The distance will obviously be the deciding factor as well as the size of your vehicle. Shorter trips and smaller cars will be less expensive than longer trips and larger cars. You should also ask the following questions:

  • Does the shipping cost include fees or insurance?
  • Are there factors that could make the price go up?
  • What about senior discounts?

If the company doesn’t offer any discounts, check with your local AARP for any discounts you may be eligible for.

If you’re shipping your car during “snowbird season” then you should be aware that this is typically a high demand time of year. Price may go up as well as availability.

Method of Shipping

As you ask about the cost, ask about how the car is going to be shipped. It may be enclosed or out in the open. Depending on the weather and climate, this could affect which company you decide to go with. Shipping your car out in the open in harsh weather conditions may not be the best idea, even if it’s the least expensive.

Ask Around

If you’re a snowbird and have friends who are as well, ask around for references from anyone who may have used a certain company. This way you can get firsthand knowledge about how the company operates and if it’s worth it for you to try them out. As you ask around, check out the company’s reviews to see how other people liked their services. This is a good way to narrow your search.

Take Out Personal Belongings

If you think you’re going to be able to ship your summer wardrobe with your vehicle, think again. Auto shipping companies do not allow you to ship anything in your vehicle. All personal belongings and other items must be removed before the car is taken for shipping. Plus, if you load up your car, it’s going to weigh more and that would impact the cost. If you want to load up your car with items, then you should drive it yourself.

Plan Ahead

As soon as you’re going to need your car shipped, start looking for a company and book your service. Expedited service will cost you more which is an unnecessary expense.

How to Get Your Car Ready for Shipping

Besides taking any personal belongings out of your car, there are several other things you should do to get your car ready for shipping.

  • Take a picture of it before you ship it. You’ll have visual proof of what your car looked like before you shipped it so you can compare it once it gets to its destination.
  • Take note of any scratches or dings. Your car may not brand new, so make sure you note any scratches or dings. If you see any new ones after your car is shipped, you can let the company know.
  • Make sure the battery is charged and tires are fully inflated.
  • Leave your gas tank only ¼ full. Anything more will add weight to your vehicle.
  • Have your car checked for any mechanical damage. If there are things that need to be fixed, do it before you ship your car.

Once your car is shipped, make sure you’re there to inspect it. If you can’t be there then have a trusted family member or friend look it over. Be sure to supply them with any information they need about the car before it was shipped. If any damage is noticed, you need to take it up with the company.

Remember, car shipping is supposed to be a convenience, one that frees you of headaches and hassles. If you plan ahead and follow these tips, the process should be a smoother one, allowing you to enjoy your vehicle when and where you need it.

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